The definitions and links here provide information to our customers and parents – from common parent questions, to official government and industry news, to “how to” videos that help our customers best serve the food we deliver.
OUR MILK & MEAT
All of our milk is free of added hormones, and is labeled “rBst-free.” Organic milk is an option at Good Food, but the cost is double.
Our chicken is labeled natural, and farm raised without hormones. However, it is not organic. Read below in “Definitions” for more info.
The beef we use in our meals is ground right here in our kitchen. That’s better for a few reasons: it’s one less touch point in the food process (it’s not ground in another location and then shipped), it’s fresher and not exposed to air long once it’s ground, and we control what gets ground up in there. However, we can’t claim that it’s free of antibiotics. Read below in “Definitions” for more info.
A FEW DEFINITIONS & LABEL CLARIFICATIONS
Antibiotics in beef – While it’s true that farmers use antibiotics in beef production, this does not translate to consumers eating those antibiotics when they eat meat. In fact, it should come as no surprise that there are specific government regulations that ensure there are no antibiotic residues in your meat. Antibiotics are only allowed for use in animal agriculture after undergoing a lengthy and thorough review process by the FDA, which focuses on human health.
Beef producers are required to keep records about which animals have been treated with antibiotics, which antibiotics have been given, and what dose was given. Before a treated animal can be slaughtered for meat, it must go through a withdrawal period. While it varies based on the type of antibiotic given and the dose, this withdrawal period ensures that the antibiotics are sufficiently out of the animal’s system before entering the food supply.
And yes, testing and checks are performed to make sure the antibiotic residues are not showing up in our meat supply. Obviously not every piece of meat can be tested, but the USDA does conduct random sampling and keeps track of the data.
Antibiotics in chicken – The use of antibiotics is only one FDA-approved tool to keep chickens healthy. It’s not a silver bullet. Companies use a variety of management tools to keep birds healthy including: more individualized nutrition plans; the use of probiotics and vaccines; bans with better air circulation and temperature controls; and additional training programs and education efforts for farmers and technicians.
But just like people, chickens get sick, and treating illness is a responsible part of animal care. When this happens, farmers work with health experts and veterinarians to determine if an antibiotic is needed.
A “no antibiotics ever” or “raised without antibiotics” label is typically only one of a company’s product lines. Some flocks on a no-antibiotic program may get sick, just like other flocks, and some have to be treated with antibiotics. These flocks that have been treated are no longer eligible to be marketed as having no antibiotics. So, these special programs merely intend to raise birds without antibiotics, and then labels them accordingly. Chickens that still must be treated are labeled differently.
Even if a chicken is given antibiotics in the course of its life to treat or prevent disease, the bird must go through a withdrawal time before leaving the farm. Also, FDA and USDA have extensive monitoring and testing programs to make sure that food at the grocery store does not contain harmful antibiotic residues.
Free Range Chickens – There is no precise federal government definition of “free range” so the USDA approves these label claims on a case-by-case basis. USDA generally permits the term to be used if chickens have access to the outdoors for at lease some part of the day, whether the chickens choose to go outside or not. In practice, most chickens stay close to water and feed, which is usually located within the chicken house. Chickens labeled as “organic” must also be “free range,” but not all “free range” chicken is “organic.” Less than 1% of chickens nationwide are raised as free range, according to the National Chicken Council.
Farm-Raised Chickens – All chickens are raised on farms. So any chicken could be labeled “farm-raised.” When this term is used on restaurant menus and such, it usually refers to chickens raised on a local farm.
Natural chickens – Under USDA regulations, a “natural” product has no artificial ingredients, coloring ingredients, or chemical preservatives, and is minimally processed – just enough to get it ready to be cooked. Most ready-to-eat chicken can be labeled natural if processers choose.
Organic chickens – The USDA has a very specific rule to define “organic” production and prohibits the use of the term on packaging of any food product not produced in accordance with its rule. According to USDA, the organic label does not indicate that the product has safety, quality, or nutritional attributes that are any higher than conventionally raise products.
No Hormones Added chickens – Despite what you may hear, no artificial or added hormones are used in the production of any poultry in the United States. Regulations of the FDA prohibit the use of such hormones. No such hormones are used. Any brand of chicken can be labeled “raised without hormones.” However, that brand/package must also have a statement that no hormones are used in the production of any poultry.
GMOs – The FDA does not require the labeling of GMOs in food ingredient lists, so we don’t know for sure which foods contain them. Currently, commercialized GM crops in the US include soy (94%), cotton (90%), canola (90%), sugar beets (95%), corn (88%), Hawaiian papaya (more than 50%), zucchini, and yellow squash.
OTHER STUFF PEOPLE ASK ABOUT
Why we use whole grains
It’s irrefutable now, these grains are the healthiest option.
Is this meat “done”?
Understanding the color of meat. Why is it pink inside?
Pineapple – is it ripe, and how to cut one up
Check out this video for the “how to” on this delicious fruit.
Cutting up a mango
They’re yummy, but slippery and hard to slice.
GOVERNMENT & INDUSTRY
USDA’s New Guidelines on the Child & Adult Care Food Program
Good Food already meets these standards, which are mandatory by October 1, 2017
Become a “Let’s Move!” recognized childcare provider
This is Michelle Obama’s renowned program. We follow her nutrition guidelines.